Darkness at Dawn (Anglais) Poche – 5 juillet 2011
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Her Uncle is the CIA Deputy Director of Operations, and he wants her to return to Nhala, a country Lucy knows well and whose royal family she has close ties to. The CIA has intel that there is an Al Qaeda biowarfare lab in Nhala and that this lab has mutated and weaponized a viral hemorrhagic virus (like Ebola) with plans to attack America and Israel.
With Lucy as the free pass into the country, Captain Mike Shafer of the Tenth Mountain Division, US Army, will go undercover as Lucy's fiance. He's to protect her while at the same time finding out more about the lab, the plans of the attack, etc. I hope I explained enough but not too much. I thought the story was a good idea, the concept complicated enough to be exciting and intriguing, but that just didn't happen for me, not at all.
I found the story flow slow and even tedious. It wasn't until about 60% in that I felt things were picking up some. In my opinion, most of the real action was confined to the last 25% of the story. This made it seem rushed to me. First, really slow, and I mean slow, with repetitive descriptions of the palace, Lucy's past and memories, and so on. There was a lot of thinking to one's self, of the same thoughts, over and over again, like why Mike needs to stay focused, how brave Lucy is, what she's been through. It just seemed to me like killing time, and then suddenly, we're at the end of the book almost so we better hurry things up and end the story.
So for me, the action was slow to begin with, then rushed at the end, hurriedly tying things up, and the romance aspect of the story was practically non-existent. There was just a little sexual tension and sex, and what was there was lukewarm to me, really a pale shadow of what this author can do. That was a total let-down. I feel as if I didn't get to see the h/H really connect until the very last quarter of the story, almost like a Hail Mary pass. While this was satisfying, finally!, it was too little too late. Just not enough to make this story a good read for me.
And I have to tell you I absolutely LOVE Lisa Marie Rice/Elizabeth Jennings and thought I'd never be giving a story of hers less than 4 stars, but I have to do it here. This story just does not compare or live up to her other work, even her work as EJ. This is only my opinion, but I'm feeling let down by the story pacing and execution, the bland h/H connection, and the lack of really good romance. For me, this story is only okay at best, definitely not good or great, and not what this author is capable of doing. It's hard for me to say it, but 3 stars may even be generous. I am very disappointed.
Romantic Suspense - July 5th, 2011
Lucy Merritt is beautiful, wealthy, and smart. Her life looks perfect and she has arranged her environment to her exacting standards. So when she is pulled, politely if firmly, from her job as a restorer of manuscripts to a secret meeting with the CIA, she is angry. Her 'Uncle Edwin,' the Deputy Director of Operations, wants her presence for unknown reasons. But Lucy refuses to be pulled into his schemes. Her parents were undercover CIA agents. As a child she witnessed their deaths in the line of duty and she wants no part of the CIA. But the meeting reveals plans to release a deadly disease -and a madman's plot to take over a peaceful kingdom. A kingdom where her friend the Princess Paso has asked secretly and urgently for Lucy's help. Lucy cannot deny her dear friend nor condone the endangerment of innocent civilians, but she can't travel by herself. She find herself assigned a 'bodyguard' named Mike Shafer to accompany her. He will be her pretend fiancée, but in reality he is a Captain of the Mountain Division and deadly in his own right. But what happens when two attractive people are thrown together in close quarters?
This was an exciting and entertaining read. As the two characters race to save a nation, I enjoyed reading how intelligent and savvy they were. I felt that this could be a real mission. The author writes a compelling story which is intense and even scary. While this is a romance, I found myself invested more in the subplots of other characters and how they affected the main characters. I enjoyed how the author juggled all the villains and intrigues. I particularly liked reading about the brave Princess Paso. The tension in the story will keep you riveted as the ending has me biting my nails when the stakes becomes a matter of life or death. While I really enjoyed all the characters, for some reason, Lucy and Mike seemed a bit too perfect. They were like a Barbie and Ken couple. While the author spends some time with them before they actually reach their mission, I never got as emotionally involved with their relationship as I expected.
Exhilarating suspense makes for a captivating read you will not want to put down. Surprisingly, I did not get as involved into the main characters as much as the secondary characters until the end of the story.
Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club